But for consciousness no fuel is needed. When this body dies your consciousness moves into another womb. Consciousness is perpetual movement. It is nonending energy – no beginning, no end. It never started and it will never end. That is why when you become one with consciousness there is no fear. Fear disappears only when you have hit upon the eternal source, the immortal, which cannot die – the deathless.
And the ego is very fragile; every moment it is on the verge of dying. And anybody can kill it, just a gesture can kill it, just a look. Somebody looks at you, and the ego is troubled. That man seems to be an enemy. A gesture of enmity and you feel a trembling because the ego is fragile. It is a false, artificial thing, it has to be maintained. That is why there is so much fear, and amidst this fear, this oceanic fear, you manage to create a few islands of bravery. Other- wise, it would be too difficult.
You think yourself brave – even a coward, the most cowardly man, thinks himself brave – because that too is a very complex problem. The ego is afraid, fearful, inside, because death can happen at any moment. In love, death can happen; in prayer, death can happen to the ego; in any deep relationship the ego will have to die. Even if you look at a rose without thinking, the ego will have to die. Even a rose can kill it; it is so fragile, just flimsy, a dreamlike thing – nothing substantial about it. So afraid, and deep down continuously thinking of death, still you go on thinking yourself to be brave. That is how this bravery, this fearlessness, this “I am not a coward,” helps your ego. If you come to know that the ego is a coward, that “I am a coward” – if you really realize and become aware that this ego is fear and nothing else – you will not maintain it. You will drop it. Why carry a disease? But the disease is hidden and you think it is not a disease; rather, it is the only health.
It happened that Mulla Nasruddin got married. He went to the hills for his honeymoon. The very first night, at midnight, somebody knocked on the door. Nasruddin got up and opened the door. There was a man with a pistol in his hand, a robber. He came in. But he forgot about robbery when he saw Mulla Nasruddin’s wife, a beautiful young girl. He forgot all about robbery. And he said to Mulla Nasruddin, “You stand in that corner.”
Then he drew a circle around him, and told him, “Don’t step out of it – one step and you are no more.” Then he kissed Nasruddin’s wife and made love to her.
When he had gone, the wife said, “What sort of man are you? – standing there in the circle and watching another man make love to your wife!”
Nasruddin said, “I am not a coward!” And triumphantly he continued, “Whenever the man turned his back towards me I would step out of the circle, and not just once, three times!”